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Would a mechanic's lien be the correct lien to get paid for being the caretaker to the prop. owner in CA? The house is in escrow

Ventura, CA |

There was no written contract, however if I cloud the title I am sure he will pay me the $10,000 I am asking for over not being able to go through with the sale on which his proceeds are $150,000. If not a mechanic's lien, what can I do? Escrow is set to close March 8, 2013. Thank you

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Attorney answers 4


Sorry, I don't understand your question. Can you be more explicit about how you believe you are entitled to $10,000? What were your duties as "caretaker"?


You have no mechanic's lien rights unless you are a licensed contractor who did work on the property, or are a material supplier whose materials were incorporated into the work of improvement, and serve a preliminary notice (unless you are the direct contractor). It sounds as though you do not qualify.

Recording a claim of lien to cloud title is not advisable at all. You cannot win and you could be sued for abuse of process and malicious prosecution.

If you have an oral contract with the property owner for services rendered, and the person hasn't paid you, you can demand payment, then sue him if he doesn't pay. That's what you should do. You may find it useful to consult with a local attorney to help you as well.

Good luck.


No, a mechanic's lien would not be proper under your scenario. You do not have any lien rights. You are an unsecured creditor, and cannot become a secured creditor until have you have a judgment in your favor. You can only sue for the value of your services. You can use the small claims court to recover up to $10,000.

Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.


You have a written contract?
Curt Harrington
Certified Tax Specialist -- State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization
Electrical-Chemical-Mechanical Patent (Intellectual Property) Attorney
(562) 594-9784
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Curt Harrington Patent & Tax Law Attorney Certified Tax Specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization PATENTAX.COM This communication is general information and not legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This communication should not be relied upon as any type of legal advice. Please note that no attorney-client relationship exists between the sender and the recipient of this message in the absence of either (1) a signed fee contract and (2) remission of an agreed-upon retainer. Absent such an agreement and retainer, I am not engaged by you as an attorney, nor is any other member of my law firm.

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